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How Focus Can Help Your 2012 Content Marketing Strategy

Man in a straight jacket

Is Lack of Focus Making You Crazy?

You’re overwhelmed, aren’t you? You’re trying to get a content strategy working and get on top of your social media marketing, but there are too many possibilities, platforms and methods.

If you get one more invitation to connect on some random “must have” social network, you might just need a straight jacket and some time in a well-padded room.

At this very moment, your mind-numbing list of  content marketing tasks might look something like this:

  • Research your keywords so you can optimize your content more effectively
  • Improve your blog (content quality, optimization & frequency)
  • Step up your article marketing
  • Write a white paper or eBook as a free download to entice people to join your list
  • Enhance your email marketing campaigns with better content and call to action
  • Send out a survey to learn more about your client’s needs
  • Set up or improve your YouTube channel with quality videos that help your clients better understand (and want) your services
  • Put up some content on SlideShare
  • Create and invite your contact list and social media networks to a webinar that answers some of their burning questions with a goal to generate leads
  • Improve your profiles, interaction, credibility and influence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Klout, Kred, EmpireAvenue, StumbleUpon, FourSquare, Quora, Xing, Xeeme, Connect.me, About.me, Talent.me, Circle.me and DearGodHelp.me.

Whoa. No wonder you are moments away from curling up in the fetal position, humming an eerie tune and sucking your thumb.

What is equally confounding is that when you go to find resources for managing the overwhelm, you find things like Lee Odden’s 22 Social Media Marketing Management Tools.

It’s a great post, actually, and I highly recommend it if you want to sort through for ideas to help you declutter your online social life and social media marketing activities. But if you’re like me, you might be asking: “22?? Really? That’s about as problem solving as unleashing a pack of monkeys on my content marketing who are all jacked up on bananas. All I want is a white sand beach and a cabana boy to bring me martinis.” Oops. Sorry. TMI.

How to Focus Your 2012 Content Marketing Strategy

My recommendation? Take a deep breath. Get up off the floor and take your thumb out of your mouth. And commit to improving your client base and ROI in 2012 with a solid content marketing plan. That means stop trying to be everywhere and do everything. Instead, try these three steps.

Step 1: Profile Your Best Customer

Instead of using a shot gun approach, identify the attributes of your existing or desired best customer.

  1. What is the age of your best customer? The average income? The buying habits? The business or personal challenges that your solution can fix? Is your best customer male or female?
  2. Find out how to reach out to that customer. Does your best customer open or respond to your emails? Interact with your company on Facebook? Respond to ads, contests, surveys? Search the internet for products or services like yours?

With this knowledge in hand, you can create an actual content strategy.

Step 2: Create Your Content Strategy

Finally, identify how to target your communications, your outreach, your networking and your picking-up-the-phone-and-actually-talk-to-a-human-being activities on that customer and others that fit that same profile.

Am I suggesting that you stop your social media marketing efforts? No, absolutely not. But a frenzied business is not a focused business. I recommend slowing down, eliminating as much noise as possible and getting clarity on your goals and how to achieve them. You may actually accomplish more with less frenetic social media activity. (For a really contrarian view, read this post by Seth Godin about finding just 10 good people.)

If you know the profile of your best customer, you have a target. You can design your content marketing strategy with that target in mind.

Step 3. Put Your Content Marketing Activities on an Editorial Calendar

Now that you have defined your best customer profile and a content strategy to reach potential customers that fit that profile, add those efforts to your editorial calendar.

You can do this however you like, but I recommend planning out your entire year of content, quarter by quarter. You can download my editorial calendar template and make it your own.

Make 2012 your best year yet. Stop herding chickens. Create a content marketing strategy and a well-defined editorial calendar to help you stay on track and put your resources into the most result-producing activities.

What are your best methods for regaining focus? You are welcome to share them in the comments below.

To your content marketing success,

Jayna

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